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Thundercloud Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud'

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Thundercloud Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud') at The Growing Place

Thundercloud Switch Grass

Thundercloud Switch Grass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3b

Description:

This very tall selection forms a towering, upright clump of striking blue-green leaves; airy heads of pink-tan flowers appear on plumes in late summer; plumes are very large and showy; perfect as a landscape accent, or along the back of borders

Ornamental Features

Thundercloud Switch Grass features airy plumes of pink flowers rising above the foliage in late summer. Its attractive grassy leaves are bluish-green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous gold in the fall. The brown seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to mid fall. The tan stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Thundercloud Switch Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Thundercloud Switch Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Thundercloud Switch Grass will grow to be about 7 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Bark 
Ornamental Features